[This article is part two of a series on transitions. You can read part one here: Lost in Transition.]
by Michelle Fong Romig
It had been a roller coaster of a ride. In the span of 18 months I had gotten married, moved across the ocean twice, had my first child, and shifted from being a missionary in Asia to a stay-at-home mom in Kansas.
My identity felt like it had been totally rocked and I had absolutely no idea what to do with myself. Each day was a battle to come to grips with who I was and what I was supposed to be doing. This season of transition was a huge challenge– one that had me crying out for grace.
Thankfully, God knew me when he was forming me. He knew my strong will and my love of independence. He knew what my struggles would be in adjusting to “domestic life.” Yet it was God who gave me these new roles. And it was God who called me to find my identity in Christ alone, not in where I worked, who I knew, or how I spent my days.
The following is a reflection that the Lord graciously put on my heart as I struggled through that transition:
As I sat next to my sleeping baby daughter this evening, I couldn’t help but think back to the not-so-distant past. In 2008 I was single, about to graduate from seminary, and confident in the direction my life was headed. I was basking in all that I was learning in my relationship with God, both in and out of my classes, and I had a tight-knit, amazing group of girlfriends that sharpened and encouraged me. I miss all of that.
What I really miss though is having a clear sense of who I am. Back then I knew. Now, I’m not so sure. I love my husband and the relationship that we have, but let’s be real for a moment: marriage means that you’re one with another person, and that messes with your identity a bit. I adore my daughter, and she brings pure joy to my heart, but again- reality: she consumes so much of my time and energy, it’s literally impossible to do some of the things I used to do. And a clear direction- well, we’ve just decided to not be overseas for awhile… and we’re not sure what’s next at this point. And on top of that, we’ve moved so much in the last 2 years, I haven’t been able to find a solid community of friends to go through life with, and that has been beyond difficult. I’ve become a bit of a lost girl.
But then I remembered something that a mentor of mine encouraged me to put into writing when I was struggling with being single: a statement of contentment. One specific part of that statement sticks out in my mind now:
“…I recognize that I am not defined simply by my single-ness, my woman-ness, or any other role; I am above all a child of God, called to seek after him and magnify him.”
Being a single, a wife, a mother, a career woman, a missionary, or a homemaker are roles that God puts us in for his good purposes. But they are also roles that are subject to change at any moment.
What is unchanging is the identity we have been given in Jesus Christ through faith in him. Our contentment is no longer found in our roles or in who we are, but our contentment is in Christ himself. I can see how my crazy season of transitions was grace from God to teach me again of my firm identity in Christ. Whether my seasons of life are stable or changing, I know who I am. And praise the Lord, because of Christ, I know whose I am.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you… when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (Isa. 43:1-3).
ABOUT THE WRITER
Michelle is a native San Franciscan who currently lives in Kansas with her pastor husband Curt and their daughter, Izzy. When she’s not attending to the needs of her busy daughter, she and Curt love to watch “The Office” and read. Michelle also enjoys seeing lives transformed by the gospel through refugee ministry and representing the Starfish Project, a ministry which rescues women out of prostitution. Michelle blogs occasionally at The Romig Chronicles.